UAAP commissioner Ato Badolato has turned down the protest of University of Santo Tomas against its recent loss to four-time defending champion Ateneo but the Growling Tigers are reportedly bringing their appeal to the Technical Committee.
In a phone interview Monday night, UAAP secretary-treasurer Junel Baculi confirmed UST’s impending action, saying: “I was informed (about the Tigers’ appeal to the Technical Committee). Pero hindi ko pa nababasa mismo ‘yung formal protest.”
Earlier, Badolato had junked the protest of UST, insisting the game officials made a “judgment call” as the Blue Eagles escaped with a close 68-66 win last Saturday.
“Protest turned down as it involves judgment calls,” Badolato was quoted as saying.
The Tigers were strongly contesting the goal tending call on their Cameroonian import Karim Abdul, who blocked the shot of Ateneo’s Ryan Buenafe.
The game officials reviewed the replays and decided to count the basket. Buenafe, who was fouled in the process by Kevin Ferrer with 5.1 ticks left, made his bonus charity, virtually pegging the final count.
Before Beunafe’s game-winning play, Abdul put UST ahead 66-65 off a jumper over towering Ateneo center Greg Slaughter with 7.7 seconds remaining after Buenafe lost the ball in the face of a UST double-team.
Disgusted by what he felt was a failure by the referees to call a foul on UST which led to Buenafe’s turnover, Ateneo coach Norman Black stormed the floor and visibly lashed out at game officials. Black, however, didn’t incur a technical foul, to the dismay of UST officials.
Baculi, who also serves as the athletic director of host National University, said once the Tigers submitted their formal protest to the Technical Committee, headed by UST’s Fr. Emerito de Sagun, it will be placed on the agenda set to be tackled by the Board in their next special meeting.
“As soon as we accept the appeal, we will put it on our agenda and will be tackled on our (next) special board meeting,” he noted.
In a phone interview with Yahoo! PH Sports, Tigers head coach Pido Jarencio said his personal complaint centered around the referees’ failure to call a technical foul on Black.
“Kami, sa patas lang,” Jarencio said. “Ang mismong kino-contest ko is yung hindi pagtawag ng technical foul kay Norman.”
Jarencio also disagreed with Badolato’s reasoning that this was a judgment call, since he said it was clear that Black’s actions merited a technical foul.
“Bakit hindi nila tinawagan si Norman ng technical foul? Meron bang judgment call sa technicality?”
Furthermore, the outspoken coach said, Buenafe’s eventual game-clinching three-point play and the contested goal-tending infraction would have been rendered moot since UST would have been awarded two free throws plus ball possession had the technical foul been called.
“Basta ako, ang hiling ko lang sa board, ay paboran ang protesta,” Jarencio added. “Iyun lang naman eh. Kasi yung winner ni Buenafe, hindi na mapupunta yung game-winner kay Buenafe kung in-overrule ni Badolato yung decision ng referee (not to call a technical foul).”
Jarencio also noted that this might set a dangerous precedent since a coach could now presumably get away with confronting a referee in the middle of a game.
“Ano ba itong ligang ito, takutan?”